IDRC has been in the business of applying knowledge to development for forty years. Much better than straight Dollars or Renminibi. But then, that could be a self-serving statement, given we are in research and IDRC is our principal funder.
Anyway, Chanuka Wattegama has written about all this in the Daily Mirror, and included references to two of our projects:
The aim of the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System, an IDRC supported joint research project of Sarvodaya and LIRNEasia immediately after the 2004 tsunami, was to deploy various alert and notification wireless technologies intended to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to natural and manmade hazards in Sri Lanka. Adopting an ‘all-hazards, all-media’ approach, designed around a set of five wireless communication technologies: addressable satellite radios for emergency alerting, remote alarm devices, mobile phones, fixed phones and VSATs this research evaluated the pros and cons of each technology. The pilot project involved deployment, training, and field-testing of the technologies, in various combinations, across 32 tsunami-affected villages, using the ‘Common Alerting Protocol1’ (CAP) for data interchange with content provided in three languages (English, Sinhala and Tamil). The research concluded that the most reliable means of warning people was a mix of satellite and mobile phones.
LIRNEasia’s Knowledge to Innovation in Government Services is based on the belief that policy initiatives on innovations in the developing world, should be about making the governments innovative to provide infrastructural services. The objective of this project is to link 330 local government bodies to a single network enabling them to share knowledge on solid waste management, one of the key issues faced by all. The project tests the research hypothesis that these linkages may lead to a sustainable culture of innovation.